Hot summers can be barriers to dialysis attendance, so understating weather changes and preparing yourself for it, can improve health outcomes. These few tips can help you stay hydrated without fluid overload.
Cut down on the things that induces thirst
ü Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol or ingesting large amounts of sugar beverages, as these can cause your body to lose more fluid leaving you dehydrated. It is imperative for the patients to strike the correct balance of fluids.
ü Choose unsalted snacks and reduce table salt as salt makes you thirsty. Read nutritional labels and choose foods with sodium less than 140 mg per serving.
ü If you are diabetic, maintain good blood sugar control; cut down on simple carbohydrate and take medicine regularly as high blood glucose can make you thirsty.
Stay cool and maintain body temperature
ü Try to stay in the shade; exposure to the sun causes perspiration and increase the urge to drink more fluids.
ü Soak a bandana or gel-filled neck cooler with water and drape it around your neck this will help you regulate body heat to some extent.
Choose Right, Be Wise
ü If you really have to drink, sip slowly rather than gulping the whole glass down. Try small measuring cups instead of large glasses. Sipping will let you savour the liquid longer.
ü You can also carry a small spray bottle filled with lemon water or mouthwash to spray your mouth when you are feeling excessively thirsty.
ü Suck frozen lemon wedges, Vitamin C; help regulate the production of saliva, thereby helping keep the mouth moist. ½- ¾ th lemon can be taken per day without the fear of potassium load.
ü Choose low potassium frozen fruits and vegetable like black currant, strawberries, cucumber, zucchini etc. as refreshing snacks. The ice coated chilled fruits will quench your thirst faster.
ü Try brushing your teeth often, it will freshens your mouth, and lessens the urge to drink. Gargling with mouthwash can also provide instant relief to dry mouth.
ü Check with your doctor if any medicine is causing dry mouth and look for an alternative.
ü Chew on sugar free lozenges or mint flavoured candy to wet your mouth
Look for warning signs, if heat exhaustion is not treated, it can turn into a heat stroke. Heavy sweating, cramps, headache, confusion, nausea or vomiting, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, and fainting can be early signs of heat stroke. Reach out for immediate medical help if you experience any of the above symptoms.